Sinclair Expects to Bring Rebranded Fox Sports RSNs Direct-to-Consumer Next Year
It seems Sinclair has big things planned for their sports content next year. Earlier this morning, they announced that they reached a deal with Bally’s Corporation which will see Bally Sports become the new name of Fox Sports RSNs. The 10-year deal, which is for a reported $85 million, will also see the companies partner on bringing sports betting to their telecasts.
Now, it looks like they will also be bringing the newly-branded RSNs direct-to-consumer. During their call to announce the partnership, company President and CEO Chris Ripley said their new streaming app will rollout first with TV Everywhere authentication, then they’ll be available via direct-to-consumer service. Ripley did not give any details on pricing, nor did he reveal whether or not the DTC offering will include all games.
During the RBC TMT Conference yesterday, Ripley also revealed that the company will be launching a new app to replace Fox Sports Go. The current Fox Sports Go app provides access to live sports and other content from Fox Regional Sports Networks.
This will be an important change for Sinclair after the loss of distribution across streaming services. Sinclair has been having a rough go at when it comes maintaining carriage of its sports RSNs on streamers.
This year, YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, and fuboTV dropped the channels. Last year, both Dish Network and Sling TV dropped the channels from their service.
Sinclair-owned 21 sports nets broadcast rights to 42 professional clubs in the NBA, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.
In calendar year 2018, the RSN portfolio delivered a combined $3.8 billion in revenue across 74 million subscribers. But the pandemic has wreaked havoc with this year’s live sports. Sinclair’s valued dropped $4.23 billion. Shares also plummeted 33 percent year-over-year. Sinclair Broadcast Group reported a loss of $3.2 billion in Q3, including writing off part of the value of the RSNs.